I found this over on Treehugger. Berkeley-based architect/owners Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger’s have created an inexpensive backyard home office for their architecture studio. Below is a great interview with Wanaselja explaining exactly how they did it. The cost? The shipping container was $1800.
My friend Preston of Jetson Green criticized me a few weeks back for being too negative about a possibly ground-breaking project. He was right; in that particular case, if I had nothing good to say, I probably shouldn’t have said anything at all. I consciously decided to follow that dictum when I first saw the stunning little Tetra Shed or Shedworking. It is a beautiful thing, designed by David Ajasa-Adekunle of Innovation Imperative,an award-winning British architecture firm, and it has been showing up on every design website, including Jetson Green.
So what could I possibly complain about with this little gem? Only this: I once owned a geodesic dome with doors and windows installed in sloping walls, and they leak. That’s why buildings have roof overhangs, why windows and doors are inset and have trim. That door, with its double hinges, is going to be hard to lock and harder to seal. The shape is gorgeous but it is technically a huge problem. My dome had a sloping door like that; the first time I opened it, while carrying my baby daughter, the waterlogged door came off its hinges and clonked me on the head. There are reasons wood buildings have evolved the way they have.
This thing is either going to leak, or it is going to be impossibly expensive. And then it will take a little longer to leak.
There are other issues; Bucky Fuller might point out that the tetrahedron encloses the least volume per unit of surface area. Or that municipalities with limits on floor area measure the overall footprint, whereas what matters to a human being is the headprint, how much room is there to stand up in.
Preston raises a serious issue; are we cheerleaders or critics? I don’t know anymore.By Lloyd Alter
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As awesome as cities are, getting away from time to time is a good idea. But as refreshing and necessary as a vacation in the countryside can be, it comes with its own headaches, especially in terms of increased carbon footprint. But if you’re lucky enough to be around Bordeaux, in Southwestern France, you don’t have to go far to find a great spot to kick back. Just outside Bordeaux, you can find Le Nuage (the Cloud), a “playful and poetic” lakeside peri-urban retreat, made of wood and Plexiglas, which sleeps seven. Read more
Sunset Magazine always makes a splash on their Celebration Weekend with a model home; Michelle Kaufmann got her big launch when they presented her first Glidehouse there, and the first Breezehouse in 2005. They are often grand things, like Henry Siegel’s in 2006. But times being what they are, this year’s home is small, affordable, and built from a recycled shipping container.
It’s designed by Hybrid Architecture of Seattle, who have been doing shipping container architecture for years, calling it Cargotecture. and have it down to a science. They are insulated with soy foam, have bamboo flooring and a tiny boat-like bathroom. The C 192 will retail for $59,500, or $309 per square foot, which will no doubt be a cause for complaint. But as I have noted before, small houses cost more per square foot than big ones.